So last week I talked about how you can boost your income by starting your own virtual assistant business, but I realize that not everyone wants to do that type of work. If working as a VA isn’t your thing, how about working as a freelance writer? I do both freelance writing and virtual assisting to bring in extra cash when I need it and I can tell you from experience that if you deliver quality work? You will almost always have clients. It is very, very possible to bring in a full-time income by working as a freelance writer as well so if you’re a stay at home Mom, consider making the transition to a work at home mom and adding freelance writing to your resume.
As a freelance writer, you basically have the freedom to write about any topic that you want and to work when you want to. If you’re not familiar with a topic or comfortable writing about a specific topic, you don’t have to. It’s actually a really “free” career to have. I love working as a virtual assistant but writing allows me to work on a looser schedule and from literally anywhere I can type at.
To start, you need to be sure that your writing skills are up to par. As someone who sometimes uses guest posts on this blog, there is nothing worse than receiving an article from someone and having to edit it so much that I may as well have written it myself. Also, as someone who writes, I would never consider sending someone an article that I could not stand behind. In fact, I have actually held off on delivering content until I was sure it was absolutely ready to deliver. If you still want to give freelance writing a try, but your writing skills aren’t up to par? Consider taking a writing or grammar class depending on where you personally need to brush up.
Once you’ve brushed up on your skill set, you can pretty much get started without too much fanfare, however, I would highly advise that you put together a writing portfolio and resume. Most clients will want to see writing samples at the very least so it makes a ton of sense to have them on hand. It doesn’t really need to be anything fancy. Just put together a few quick samples or links to content you have already had published.
Finding writing gigs can really be as hard or as easy as you make it. There are thousands of blogs that accept contributor posts, Craigslist often lists freelance gigs (although please do remember to practice safety with CL), ProBlogger has a job board, BloggingPro has a job board as well and more. You really just need to get out there and search. Facebook is also full of different groups for buying and selling articles so be sure you don’t forget to join those and look.
As you go about finding your writing gigs, you will notice that pricing differs on each one. While I don’t recommend that you charge through the roof (especially when just starting out), you may find that different clients have different payment thresholds that they’re willing to pay. Try to negotiate, but if you run across one that won’t? Don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t work for less than you are worth. Try to find a happy medium per article or per word. I personally charge around $20 for a 400 word article, or $0.05 per word.
You’ll want to make sure that you have a place to showcase your work and the services that you offer. This will allow your potential clients to have a place where they can view testimonials, more info about the services that you offer and so on. Starting your own website is a great way to do that. You can start a website for under $4.00/mo with Bluehost. The benefits that you gain will far outweigh the small cost you’re paying each month. If you need help setting up your website, I have a great tutorial on how to start a website on Bluehost that can help walk you through things.
After a while, you’ll find that you have repeat clients if you have delivered quality work. It can be hard to get started, but the rewards of having a career like freelance writing can be are so worth it. After you’ve been writing for a bit, it will start to come very naturally to you. You’ll pick up your own writing style, and you’ll also pick up that income that most of us need so badly.
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